Viera’s Karman plans to build off state tourney experience


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Viera High's Sam Karman shot 83 and 89 over two days at the Class 3A state golf tournament at the Mission Inn & Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills. The sophomore plans to use the experience to his advantage next season.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

HOWIE-IN-THE-HILLS – Sam Karman’s time at the Class 3A state golf tournament wasn’t just about how well he played.

It was also about the experience the sophomore gained.

So, while Karman followed up his encouraging 83 on the opening day with an 89 on Wednesday for a two-day total of 172, the results weren’t all that discouraging.

“I wasn’t happy with my score, but it was a good experience to come here as a sophomore and get prepared for the next two years,” Karman said.

Wednesday’s second round got off to a tough start for Karman, who hit his first shot out of bounds.

“I had to re-tee,” he said. “At the start, I just couldn’t get in a rhythm. Then, I got better on the back nine.”

Karman was five shots better on his final nine holes than the first nine on Wednesday, which does say something about the way he was able to keep his composure throughout the round.

He also got a better understanding of just how challenging the course at the Mission Inn & Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills can be.

“It’s very hilly,” Karman said. “There’s a lot of elevation and rise on certain holes. The greens slope a lot, so you’re not going to have a straight putt.”

Viera coach Gene Trent was happy with the way Karman was able to handle the challenges Karman faced throughout the tournament and noted that it will only help him the next time he comes back to the Mission Inn & Resort.

“As a sophomore, you’re kind of playing with house money,” Trent said. “You get three rounds – a practice round and two rounds – at the state tournament. He saw the top caliber golfers and what he needs to work on going forward.

“What was good was the adversity that he faced and how he handled it. Moving forward, I have complete confidence that he’s going to take this experience and he’s going to get better because of it.”

Karman doesn’t plan to wait long to start working on his game again.

During Wednesday’s final round, he told his mother he plans to head back to the Duran Golf Club on Thursday to get in some work.

“I don’t like taking days off,” he said.

That didn’t come as any surprise to his coach.

“That’s Sam,” Trent said. “He was here both days well over an hour before his rounds, wanting to be prepared. It’s never because of a lack of effort with Sam.

“He’s still growing into his game. The future’s bright for Sam and for Viera boys golf. We’re excited.”